tv Dr. David Agus Discusses The Lucky Years CSPAN February 4, 2017 1:31pm-2:21pm EST
it is so easy through satellites to find almost anything on earth that it would be almost impossible to hide a fleet for two week sailing across the pacific ocean for 3150 miles. >> booktv is on twitter and facebook and we want to hear from you. tweet us, twitter.com/booktv or post a comment on our facebook page, facebook.com/booktv. >> starting now on booktv, coverage of the 2017 rancho mirage writers festival in california. several authors including senator barbara boxer, realtor prize-winning author lawrence right, humorist dave barry, historian douglas brinkley and more. first up, david agus talks about his book "the lucky years: how to thrive in the brave new world of health".
[applause] >> thank you very much. it is a privilege to be here. i am here. about 7 years ago i wrote my first book and i was so excited that i spent all this time thinking of the title and the title i came up with with was what is held? it was a key question. was it how you look, how you feel, how long you live, how well you live, what was health how do you optimize in a parameter where you don't have a parameter in which to optimize so i sent to the publisher and a week later the publisher called and said steve jobs just called and changed the title of your book. he did what? i said what are you doing? he said you can't put the word health in the title. it is a bad word in our country. as soon as you say health people's guys glaze over, like
chewing cardboard. when you say health people think of brussels sprouts. he said you need something optimistic, declarative, he came up with the title the end of illness. a quote from mark twain the only way you keep your health, drink what you don't like and do what you would rather not. i will show you today that is not the case. i am going to offend some of you, take away things you have been leaning on and show you there is data behind them. i will push you but these are not my opinions, these are data and i will show you the data about demands where i think we should be going, going forward. our country is about being bigger and better. if i take a 7-year-old and give
him a shot of growth hormones, you look like 1 million bucks, 10 years younger, it works. makes you look better, feel better, on average it takes 16 years off your life, but you look better today. the question is what is your metric him and do you want to look good today or play with your grandchildren tomorrow? there is a population in ecuador that are short stature and have a mutation in the growth hormone receptor, almost no cancer and no diabetes in that population. the key thing is identify each of you what you want your goal to be. topics like testosterone, we hear on the radio every day ads for low t. and the largest that he done, looking at people with low t giving them testosterone they found something interesting. when they did that no increase in muscle mass, no increase in
how people felt but dramatic increase in cardiovascular events and death. death is a bad side effect for a drug. so i challenge you, whenever you do something, that is the resounding message over and over, ask why and say where is the data in what we are doing, testosterone for low t, over 200 million prescriptions written last year so this is an experiment that changed everything so in 195019502, rhonda runs for the new york city publisher only paper in science and she was kicked out of science. what she did was talk and old rat and the young rat and put them to sleep and tied their skin together. after a day the blood supplies
joins, three week later she looked in the old rat, the gray hair had turned ground again, new neurons growing in the brain, the heart beats stronger and the muscles were bigger. wanda claims she reversed aging. people called her dracula, people called her frankenstein and she was pushed out of science. last year three separate laboratories, one at the university of california san francisco, when at stanford and one at harvard repeating wanda's experiment and it worked. what they showed is that age 25 in you and i are stem cells go to sleep and there are proteins now that can reawakens them, the potential of reversing some of the allergies of aging. the clinical trial ongoing now in boston in the elderly using these proteins to accelerate healing.
the cynical trial in northern california and people with cognitive decline to increase neurogenesis, new neurons. cancer is 90% curable in children. once you turn 25 that cancer is incurable. if i can convince the body it is younger maybe we can have a bigger impact on cancer. our goal is to live into our ninth or 10th decade. the simple way we do it is avoid disease. i will show you some remarkable ways of treating disease but the easiest way to do it is to avoid disease. if you avoid disease ever been to 90s healthcare costs go down, not up. 83's the magic age in our country where if you live to it we don't do these crazy heroic things that don't benefit the
individual like ventilator and other things, other people die with dignity, 1954 is the last year the united states of america you could die with cause of death of your death certificate being old age. ever since then we need another cause, our fibers, heart disease, cancer. i want to go back to dying of old age and i will show you how we can do it. i argue we screwed up in the 1920s. one experiment screwed up medicine for 90 plus years, one single experiment. what they did in this experiment is had two groups, 12 people total, half of them had a large cut on their leg and took a piece, and wrapped bread into the leg. and it heals twice as fast, that bread made mold and mold selling and it is called germ theory.
term theories that as soon as you know what you're up against you know how to fix it, you recognize the bacteria in a microscope you know exactly what antibiotic to give it and they are right. the problem is every other human disease, alzheimer's, heart disease, cancer, are from within and not without. if you are going to drive from palm springs to los angeles, you take apart a car, look at every piece of the car, doesn't say how long it takes to get there. you forgot to look at the traffic, the weather, the bladder size of the driver, how much caffeine the driver drink. they all matter but in the field of medicine we keep looking at the car and forget everything else so the challenge is not to look at the cell but the system. to be diseases are verbs and not nouns. you are cancering heart diseaseing, alzheimering, one doesn't get cancer.
it is something the body does. that is a radically different way of thinking about both disease and health and i will show you what it means. i will tell you a story. i have to apologize in advance before the story because a character will offend some of you but the message of the story transcends the character. in 1997 i was a trainee at saul kettering cancer center in new york working with a great cancer doctor and it was a kid at the time who was 25 years old who had germ cell tumor in the brain, lung and liver and he had gone to all the great cancer centers in the country and they had all looked in the eyes and said the son of a single mother, you gotta disease that doesn't respond to chemotherapy, spend your last few months -- be a man. this kid heard about an experiment, this is people google, you can search everything, you know what is
going on but pre-google there was such a time, pre-google this kid heard about an experiment where doctor with two platinum electrodes in a gel said duke cancer cells like electricity or not? they didn't care about electricity but some of the platinum, same thing in my wedding band, leached off and killed some of the cells. this kid said give me intravenous platinum. experiments were done and given platinum. a year and a half later, the first of 7 towards the front. this was lance armstrong. lance and i sat on a stage several years ago before the scandal. we sat down and he looked me in the eye, 15 years ago i was given a death sentence. now i am alive and well. how did platinum work? thought about it a minute, looked him in the eye and said i have no idea.
platinum changed you so cancer didn't want to grow. it was a powerful message to be. i'm not here to talk about the cancer cell but change the individual so the cancer didn't want to grow. this is a clinical trial, think of it this way. we have inputs to our body. who your parents are, your genetics, what you eat, where you live, who you marry, how you work and the output is how you feel. that middle state function throughout history has been hidden. i will show you a picture of it but the problem with emergent systems is they are impossible to understand, yet we can control things we don't understand. and the shape of the clouds, and doctors are like climate model
is more than biologists going forward and i show you what that means. there is a trial done, we took women with premenopausal breast cancer, young women with breast cancer and treats and wait for the cancer to occur. we took the women and half of them to get a drug for osteoporosis, a drug that builds bones. when we booked, we prevented recurrence of the cancer at 40%. breast cancer metastasized, if you change the soil, the seat doesn't go, the seed doesn't grow. one of the biggest survival advantages in clinical trial was a drug the to touch the cancer. that was a powerful message to me. my job is to change the system. it is not necessarily to target
a disease. take what i say with a grain of salt. the same profession that did this and this, i love this one, lady with a lamp. the same profession the told people 35 years ago eat margarine, not butter. if you look at the epidemiological data we killed millions of people by making these bold declaratory statements with no data at all behind them. what i want to do is go through aspects of our life on a daily basis, where is the data? let's look at it. the first is an amazing study published in 1953, the british medical journal and sent by a man named jeremiah marks. this is a paper that wasn't referenced for 50 years, there were no health privacy laws so he went to the british transit authority, half of them were bus drivers that drove those
double-decker buses that that 90% of the day and those that walked up and down the double-decker bus, both groups weighed the same and lived in the same socioeconomic environment, dramatically lowered heart disease and cancer in the bus drivers. we have become a society of bus drivers. i mean ticket takers. we have become a society of bus drivers, working room to room to go to the bathroom, the more important you are in your company the closer your parking space is to your desk. our bodies are designed to move and we need to respect that. the lymphatics that control your immune system have no muscle in the wall so it is the rhythmic contraction of the muscles in your legs when you walk that make your body work. it is movement over time. this audience is sitting down. sitting for five hours a day is equivalent on health basis of
smoking a pack at a quarter of cigarettes, sitting for 5 hours is the same as smoking a pack and a quarter of cigarettes. and yet, we set, yet when you go to your doctor, do they have a data element that reflects that? do they say how often do you move every hour? the answer uniformly is no. i was shocked when i got one of those devices, i looked at how much i moved during the day, i was more sedentary than i thought. two hours a day i do email i am actually walking at a slow pace, takes a week or two to get used to. i have one of those head sets that looks like an air traffic controller so when i am on phone calls i can walk around the office instead of sitting at my desk. i try to take at least one walking meeting today. when i go to steve jobs, every time we go for a walk, we go for
a walk, he said there are two reasons to go for a walk, first is the health benefit, we all know that. many said if you do a business negotiation with somebody, you go for a walk and at the corner you know if you will turn left or right, gives you an advantage in a negotiation. he thought of every little angle to everything. but we need to redesign our lives, talking glowing terms, this is certified for the environment. who certified buildings for health? nobody should have a printer at their desk. they should get up and walk to the other end of the office. every child, every classroom should be as far as possible as the last classroom. there's a reason the apple watch every hour taps you on the wrist if you haven't moved enough. it is to remind you to get up and move. what is amazing is in the same study they looked at profession
and rate of death so the worst were the hairdressers because they stood in one spot or secretaries because they sat all day, best with the gardeners and coal miners because they were moving, the coal miners were the best. there's actual data that if you add an hour of walking a week, every hour you and you live longer. walking equals longer life. very simple. everybody wants to take a pill to buy something, just walking. the state of california they eliminated three periods of exercise, of academics and replaced it with exercise and the test scores of the kids went up, not down. there is an amazing entrepreneur in california who founded two companies, one company chuck e cheese and another called atari. this is a guy who had two employees named steve working for him who one day said we are
making games that hook to televisions, let's put it all into one, they formed a small company called apple but this guy did a trial where he showed if a child exercises for 15 minutes he or she will retain almost 20% more knowledge for five hours. that is good to great. you want your kids or grandchildren to be the best they can be, have them go around the block or twice, that will have an impact on their performance. this is an amazing picture, an amazing study that taught me a lot about medicine. in the 1950s, we are taught that if you have appendicitis 24/7 it has got to come out, doctors, get out of bed, there is an appendicitis case in the emergency room, get in and take it out, whether you are patient of doctor this is the medical emergency.
this is a picture in the 1960s of a russian explorer, a doctor who went to antarctica, got appendicitis, taking out his own appendix. an amazing thing if you think about it. two years ago in europe they did a study where they looked at people with appendicitis and questioned it and said we have been doing this for 100 years. why not give them antibiotics? when they did that, 70% of the people, 300,000 of these in the united states didn't need surgery at all. the other 30% had no increased side effects by waiting. all of a sudden we question one of the dominant surgical procedures in our country and what we showed is it wasn't even necessary. the amazing thing is the rate of appendectomies published today hasn't changed at all.
doctors are stubborn and pigheaded like myself. it takes on average 15 years for 50% of doctors so we are slow, slow to change and slow to learn. i believe medicine will change from the ground up, not the top down. you will push your doctor to make change. he or she will not find it by reading a medical journal. if you go in and question they will think, that can change. the change in edison will happen with all of us, not the physicians 5. there is a notion in our country vitamins are good for you. women look multivitamins, they are skinnier, and a higher death rate than women who did.
an interesting question and cause for alarm. the first was vitamin d. these were headlines from the internet about vitamin d. it does everything, heart disease, cancer, stroke. how many taking vitamin d? more than half of you. let's look at the data. we as humans evolved they mechanisms, we don't get much vitamin d at once. it is called tanning. the reason we 10 is too much vitamin d isn't good for the body. the first thing, look at vitamin d levels of the country. 75% of people in the united states are low in vitamin d. 97% of african americans. in a country of canada they had to outlaw vitamin d testing because 11% of the country's laboratory budget, there was an epidemic of testing. a new epidemic of vitamin d
being low, factors are going down and not a. it is an interesting observation. women who are 70 and older and gave them vitamin d to raise their level the rate of bone fractures goes up 26%, not down. it goes up, not down. if you think about it, you have vitamin d, you have the receptor and a bunch of signaling molecules. when you measure one node of the network what does it mean? i don't know. who defined what normal was? i didn't come with an instruction manual when i was born. i don't know about you. when you take a high dose of vitamin d which is a pill that is down regulated. there have been three large studies of 20,000, never has there been a benefit shown. the us preventive task force which is the nation's most conservative groups is nobody in the country should be taking calcium or calcium and vitamin d because there has never been a
benefit shown. lots of stomach outlets, kidney stones, too higher dose increases bone fracture. never was there a clinical benefit shown to a normal individual. what vitamins are is something the body can't synthesize enough of but how many have friends with rickets or beriberi or scurvy? i never met anybody. the challenge is these are marketed beautifully, and many times the doctor tells you to take it, go back and say look at the data, would actually benefit me and take vitamin d, $260 million to the taxpayers where they randomize vitamin d and placebo, they stop the study an increase in prostate cancer, the men who took the vitamin e.
increased by 17%, yet we all do it. the multi-vitamin, we all take it. the challenge is to say why? 63 studies in the united states with 10,000 people randomized, none have ever shown a benefit from a normal individual. they were down by 20 or 30 years, disease happens over an entire lifetime, take smokers or non-smokers. two big antioxidants. we spend more vitamins than we do in all of medical research. we spend more on potato chips in the usa than cancer research.
and amazing concept is potential for significant harm but we allow people to do it. i will make a statement that some of you will like and some of you won't. we have a right to do what we want, you can smoke, sit around all day, society has the obligation of paying for healthcare ramifications of your behavior. at some point it has to stop and take responsibly for our own health. [applause] >> michael dell, ceo of dell computer with 100,000 employees, set i'm going to change our health plan, i will just charge more for smokers because that is what it costs us. was at a non-smoker subsidize a smoker? he got pushed back, people were pissed off. other people cheered and gave a
discount. and they need to take responsibility and the affordable care act, something called obamacare used to be in place last week, one of the provisions is you could differentially charge health insurance, every state in the country based on behavior and that is one of the powerful things that incentivize people to do the right thing. at some point we have to take a stand allow products to be marketed. mayor bloomberg got up and said no large sodas in new york city, people argued, nanny state. nobody argued trans fats were good for you. when you look at the data whether you are fat or skinny, short or tall, behavior changed.
when discourse becomes understanding, to get normative behavior change, we are sorely lacking leadership in the united states. the former mayor of new york city, you know there is a problem, health and food represent 30% of the united states economy yet i challenge you, who has been the surgeon general the past four years, nobody would know, who has been secretary of health and human services, very few people know how we don't have leaders in the space. there's a lot of noise out there. you can find a way to get around that noise is to have true leadership to be filters and that is something we need badly in our country. the second most downloaded article of the times, it was about a pill that was 2433 years old, if you take it every day you would reduce not the incidence but the death rate of
cancer by 30%, heart disease by 22%, a pill a day cost $3 a year. it is called a baby aspirin. we did a scientific study with dana goldman. if everybody in the country took a baby aspirin we would have 900,000 extra people alive in 20 years and save $700 billion in healthcare costs. but we don't take it. it is too cheap. nobody's marketing it or pushing it or -- less than 20% of people who should take it actually take this pill. this pill reduces inflammation. that is one of the key things on disease, information at the root of heart disease, cancer and alzheimer's and we learned, this pill hippocrates described 2400 years ago when he said take the
bark of the willow tree and chew it, this will -- the ceo of one of the great companies came up to me and said we are the largest maker of aspirin in the world, we did it first in the 1920s, aren't you proud of us, are you series? where is the next one without side effects or the one that is 10% better? ..
those class of drugs. they were developed with lower cholesterol. they work by a totally different neck and is in. so if you take 70 with a normal cholesterol and put them on one of these pills you will delay heart attack and stroke by over a decade and reduce the incidence of cancer. the biggest drug in the history of medicine. hitting inflammation. so two ways to modulate down this. people say you are pushing drugs from pharmaceutical company. how much does it cost for a 90 day supply of lipitor without health insurance? $9 for 90 day supply without
health insurance. but the impact on human health in society and each of us can be dramatic. sister switching gears in 1974 monsanto in their annual report estimated hundred $50 million to sink with one hinging. i can sequence hundreds of genes overnight for less than $10. when i launched the first book. we defined that. he came in and live on tv we sequenced his dna. we find out he is a high risk for heart disease. based on the we walked him them over to a heart scan. we showed that he have a blockage. at the time he called the story that saved his life. and so the next day people argued he wasn't eligible for
cardiac skin. it cost about $90. in you saying he wasn't eligible but your credit --dash the criteria was wrong. we have to start to use technologies like this to identify who is at risk. this is a company that's founded nine years ago. we sequenced the dna. and we see what can happen in your lifetime. to me knowledge is power. every one of them is the label or interventional. one of the biggest problems we have in health is how do i get you to do something today that will help you ten or 20 years down the road. how do i get a 30-year-old to help them when they're 60. it's hard to do. the one thing about genetics
is you can't blame your parents for everything. it is the medicine. there are very few genes that are destiny. about three years ago they announced quite heroically i have the gene for breast cancer. they asked me to write a campaign in peace. in the '90s it was a team of researchers that was tasked with $25 million from the government to identify this gene. they wanted to be buried in the church in salt lake city. and obviously they all couldn't fit. there was dna going back 100 years. so in that population it was identified it was licensed to a company that went bankrupt. another company bought the excess. they charged $6,000 for this test.
how dare company charge 6,000-dollar ransom. what pr campaign. i got a call from somebody on the supreme court justice of the united states it said later today we are going to announce you can no longer patented the gene. we have democratized dna. i said i'm happy you did that but you are 14 years too late. over 100,000 women died because they couldn't afford to look at their own dna. it is now about a hundred dollars to have that test done. the challenge is and what i'm going to show you. some of the progress is that are happy now.
we're at a time where pace is happening every week. we are not ready for as a society. in 1976 if you that you are pregnant this test could only be done in the hospital. we injected a rabbit. five days later we killed the rabbit. that was the state of the art 1976. along came a company called warner for $9 they have the first protein test. will they rejoice it at the same time we radically changed maternal health from one single protein in the blood. they have the ability of
looking at all of the proteins in the body. this is the state of the system. this is a drop of blood. or we could look at all of the proteins in the blood. this is a conversation in the body. and for the first time in technology we can listen in. in fact in the first book of mind it was a different cover than i had planned i call that publisher and steve jobs had put this on the cover because it spoke to him. last week i was in dallas with yo-yo. they are converting this conversation into music now. and so our body has been talking forever we now can actually listen in. if you are in front of two chinese restaurants. they are exactly the same. one could be great and one
could be bad. it's ingredient lists. everybody always says what's next. what recall the micro bio. it turns out we have ten or more bacteria in you. the dna in each of and each of us that human dna. these for our metabolism. they took 20 -year-olds. when they came out. they were the greatest food in the world. they weren't absorbed. there were 0 calories. it was the perfect food. every single one of them had markers of diabetes. and then they give them antibiotics. and then push our system towards diabetes.
they have the gall at the end. without telling of the people in the trial. all of the sudden we have a new dimension to you and i. there was a study done at cleveland clinic where they give us and make the stomach smaller. there is no diabetes. and yet yet nobody starts to lose weight yet. it actually changes which bacteria are dominant and it fixes a diabetes and it makes them overtime lose weight. working a treat diabetes in diversity rather than doing it these crazy surgeries.
the other big advance is what we call big data. if you happen to be on a beta blocker which is a an experience drug. we would've never known that from biology. they showed us one of the biggest studies ever done that in europe the closer you live to an airport the brain needs quiet at time we sleep. i can't bear to kick her out. and my brain gets a quiet it needs. staggering observations. your brain needs quiet at night. and we have to respect that. i really piece on this in the new york times. the acid blockers we all
take. we know now from big data it was a year or two. we know that if you take them the rate of alzheimer's goes up and heart disease goes up over time. we would've never known that unless we have a big data to look at. were in this era of big data. every time you go to your doctors office your data could be part of the solution not part of the problem. at the same time we have to work on health healthcare security of information. there been five hospitals over the last year that they came in and took over the date of the hospital. what will happen. one day soon. she has an infection on her arm. in an hour later she is dead. because of what happened is
something went in and changed her medical record and took away an allergy. my changing medical records. it has over 300 people there full-time. and actually took over a hundred million records of your local dr.. the other technology to come out was called crisper. they were named science magazine. this is a molecule that was with surgical precision one of the 3 billion letters. we can edit the dna code. they have already changed that.
you could correct diseases like this. you could do all kinds of things. you can also make a child blonder, blue or i. potentially with the technology like this. they don't have to be labeled because he was not genetically modified. it was just changing the jeans that were there. at the same time in south america they use this technology to attack the biggest killer in the history of the world. more people by a factor of ten have died from this than in every war in the world combined. between malaria and is he cut they had killed more people than everywhere in the world. they use this technology to make it.
they had been able to limit over 90% of the mosquitoes. no way. who knows what's its ghetto it's good to do to the frog population. if you've ever seen a child born with almost no brain and no skull you might think a little bit differently. it was obviously a big issue in the summer. it will come back next year. it will be again in the headlines starting in april of this year. one of the big positives that happened about a year and a half i did the morning show we talked about jimmy cardin who said i had skin cancer that went to the brain. he went up there and said i'm going to be a role model for others. and he got a drug that blocked the don't eat meat signal. when they're born they have
haven't don't eat meat signal. his own immune system was able to attack his cancer. four months ago and jimmy carter said i'm no longer on treatment and cancer free. and so we have the ability to do that. when getting more and more ways. with the body's own immune system to attack cancer. and use what you call the therapy. i walk into a room with the true sense of optimism based on the technologies that are happening today. another big advance has been in the fertility. you get half of the chromosomes from the father every cell has a couple of
chromosomes and they come from the mother only. women and is not uncommon has a defect in the camp children. i want to head children. they went to mexico and they took her egg and took out her new gillis and they put into another woman's egg. this child well had three parents the chromosomes from the mother in the chromosomes from the father. the obstetrician went to mexico to do it because is not clear whether or not it's legal in the united states. nobody knows. it really thinks to the fact that we need governance not just local in the healthcare field. together we did a simulation with health around the world.
try to plan out. they could be anywhere in the world hours later. while it's not cause for concern at the same time it's cause that we needed global governance in this area to make sure it's been done right. i want to end on a point that i think it's critical for health and it's one of the simplest things. 600 parents they said have your kids go to bed whenever you want. wake them up a half hours in half hours later. the other parents said have them go to bed at the same time every night. one regular and one irregular over 20% improvement in the kids that went to bed at the same time i got up at the same time. we were designed to be regular.
had 81% more diabetes on a wii adjusted basis. our bodies were designed for regularity. we weren't designed to just grab food when ever you are hungry. you got to gather with the family at night and he went out on the front yard the better company you are the more food they serve during the day. you want worker productivity was short-term and long-term the same time every day for meals for when you get up and when you go to bed. my messes we all had to know ourselves though. when i was doing the pr for one of the books.
one of the rule says you have to get naked and look at your body once a month in the mirror. that was going to all that. it has a camera on my face. apparently nudity is allowed on australian television. they just wanted to see the reaction of americans in nudity. but i'm a believer that you are each in charge of your own health. we have technology where you can measure anything. here she said your blood pressure is okay. you are in charge of your own health. the reason i write these books and do cbs news is to push people in the right direction.
it's an obligation on my side to educate and teach and really hopefully together we can achieve a better health outcome. we are so excited to see the dedication to the book. [applause]. now from the writers festival in california the former senator barbara boxer talks about her career. ladies and gentlemen barbara boxer. [applause]. will, where's my has been.